Tuesday, September 11, 2007

HEROES IN OTHERS EYES

There were several things that prompted that last entry. It’s partly the date, partly watching the mini-series again. It’s definitely a Sunday afternoon not before bed time program. And partly something I ran across while checking the availability and price of Ken Buns new documentary series. You know how Amazon gives you suggestions to go with what you were looking for in the first place? Well one of them was a film that Clint Eastwood directed, Flags of Our Fathers. It was released earlier this year and apparently tanked at the box office.

It’s about the grinding, bloody battle for Iwo Jima and follows the men who raised that famous flag when the battle was over. And it follows them back to States for a War Bond fund raising tour. I haven’t seen the film but from the description it’s an examination of our need for heroes, who gets tagged and how some of the “heroes” think of the label.

I get a kick out of reading customer reviews, especially the one and two star ones. At least one of them definitely didn’t get it. For one thing, the bulk of the fighting in the Pacific was done by the marines, not the army. At least the service they belonged to right. Makes me wonder if the reviewer saw the film. And he complains about how these men kept “whining” that they weren’t heroes. They weren’t in their own eyes. They did a job. They were part of a team. And I wonder how it felt to safe at home making speeches to raise money while your buddies were going through the next meat grinder and the next.

Mom had a high school class mate who joined the marines. He died on a beach in the Pacific. He died on Tarawa. Just another battle in the history books. Another flag on a box.

And anyone who knows classic country music knows what happened to Ira Hayes. If you don't, do a seach for the Ballad of Ira Hays. Damn, I’m outta here.

3 comments:

tenyearnap said...

I spent a lot of time visiting at the VA hospital when I was a kid, watching our older heroes fade away under some crappy conditions. They got to watch each other die again and again and again. When will this end? --Cin

toonguykc said...

Young men and women are disposable in this administration's eyes...they'd be fine losing another 3,800 lives if it advances their oil, construction interests in Iraq.  And Iran?

:(


Russ

hestiahomeschool said...

We just checked out Letters from Iwo Jima, to see the Japanese version of it all...Flags of our Fathers was absolutely heartbreaking, how those poor soldiers were used and basically raped by our government ...